What was the Russian revolution?
Two revolutions that led to the demise of Tsarist regime of Russia and eventual establishment of USSR Time period – February to October 1917
BACKGROUND and CAUSES
RUSSIA AT THE TURN OF 20TH CENTURY
- Largely an Agrarian country with impoverished and highly taxed peasants.
- Dominance of Aristocrats and Clergy in govt
- Industrial development very minimal.
- Workers in cities lived in overcrowded apartments and poor conditions.
Ideas of enlightenment – democracy, rights of individual and accountable government- from western Europe had spread to Russia in 19th century. Romanovs were absolute monarchs since 17th century
Tsar/Czar Nicholas II ascends the throne in 1894 . Influenced by RASPUTIN- a mystic
Russian Social Democratic Party [RSDP]
- Formed in 1898
- Philosophy of Marx added to, by Lenin (Marxist-Leninist)
- Looked after the interests of Workers (Proletariat)
- Spilt into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks factions in 1903
Russo –Japanese War 1904-05
- Dominance over Manchuria and Korea.
- Warm water port in Pacific.
- Russia defeated
- Humiliation in the war was one of the reasons for revolution of 1905
Revolution of 1905
- Workers strike, demanding better conditions and rights.
- Strikes and protests all over, suppressed militarily by Tsar.
- Concessions by Tsar- October Manifesto
- DUMA established.
- 1906-11 – Peter Stolypin- Prime Minister
- 1911- PM assassinated
World War 1
20 lakh soldiers and 80 lakh civilians dead Huge economic crisis, food shortages by 1917
REVOLUTIONS of 1917
- Phase 1 – February (O.S) March(N.S)
- Phase 2 – October (O.S) November(N.S.)
50,000 workers strike in Petrograd Public protests erupt too Tsar Nicholas abdicates in favour of his brother Michael DUMA takes power and a Social democrat PROVISIONAL GOVT is formed.
Alexander Kerensky – PM Menshevik faction MISTAKES
- Didn’t hold elections
- Didn’t Withdraw from WW1
Bolsheviks under LEON TROTSKY demand immediate reforms and withdrawal from WW1. But the govt bans the Bolsheviks and arrests leaders. The army tries a coup in August and Kerensky asks Bolsheviks and its RED GUARDS to defend the govt.
Red guards stay on in Petrograd(St.Petersburg) after the failed coup. Lenin returns and gives his famous speeches. SOVIETS (workers councils) all over the country are under Bolshevik control and help in change of government
- October 24/25- All govt buildings in Petrograd are captured by Bolsheviks overnight
- Bolsheviks capture all major cities
Russian Civil War
1917-1922 REDS vs. WHITES 20-30 lakh casualties
- Supporters of Monarchy
Supported by UK, France, USA
Red Guards = Red Army Whites defeated ,Tsar and his family executed. Bolsheviks = Communists
USSR established as one party socialist state with Lenin as the 1st premier ‘’Dictatorship of the proletariat’’
End of monarchy in one of the largest empires Communism found its practical shape Nationalisation of all resources Abolition of private property Command economy,5 year plans First revolution to establish TRUE EQUALITY
By Dr. Mahipal Singh Rathore
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